Can(cún) we, Dad, please???
When we were very young, we used to go to this pizza parlor in Albuquerque called Pistol Pete’s Pizza.
At Pistol Pete’s, you placed your order, they gave you a giant playing card to serve as your order number, and then you went off to play the arcade games while you waited for your food.
My sisters and I loved this part of the experience because we could run around and have fun. So did all the other kids. The place was, of course, a haven for families, and I’m sure many parents took their kids there because the kids asked them to.
“Please, Mom and Dad, can we go to Pistol Pete’s Pizza? Please?”
“Okay, kids, let’s go to Pistol Pete’s Pizza.”
Those parents who took their kids to Pistol Pete’s were accomplishing two things: feeding their kids and entertaining them at the same time. Two primal child needs. Win, win for everyone.
Parents acquiescing to their children in this way seems benign enough, right? Unless, of course, it’s part of a pattern of enabling bad behavior. Like if the kids were so entitled that they would demand to go to sunny Mexico whilst their fellow citizens came to near death because of frozen or busted water pipes, no electricity, and freezing temperatures.
What kind of parent would yield to their kids in that way?
One time at Pistol Pete’s we overheard a mom and her daughter have a little scuffle. The mom’s hand had met the kid’s body, and the kid exclaimed, “Mom, you hit me.”
(The mother had clearly hit the girl.)
The mom replied, “I didn’t hit you, you fell onto my hand.”
Now that’s how a parent does it. Shift the blame to their child.
So, here’s how a model citizen does it: Submits to their children’s whim and caprice—IN THE MIDDLE OF AN EXTREME WEATHER EVENT AND DURING A PANDEMIC WITH NO REGARD FOR THEIR CONSTITUENCY—then blame their kids because of it.
That’s what a man does when he’s trying to be a good dad. His trying, of course, indicative that he’s probably a bad one to begin with.